Graduating with Paper
You know how when you learn a new word or phrase and you suddenly begin to hear it used all over the place? The same sort of sensation happened to me with paper. Let me explain.
This past June my son, Matthew, graduated from high school. It was an emotional experience for all of us as anyone with a teenager can tell you. But it was also a bit of an eye opener for me because paper and packaging was everywhere.
The first mini-revelation was just after the graduation ceremony when we posed for photos with our not-so-baby boy. He was wearing the requisite mortarboard and it struck me that what gives the graduation “cap” is its iconic shape is a square of heavy gauge cardboard covered in silk. I’m not sure I thought much about what it was made of before I became immersed into the paper industry — plastic? Metal? A wooden board?
The second instance of “sudden paper-awareness syndrome (SPA)” occurred when looking at the photos from that day. I’m a bit old -fashioned about pictures. I like to hold them in my hand. But there’s nothing old about the paper they’re on. It’s among the most high-tech printing surfaces ever devised. My pictures feel a whole lot more memorable in a frame than the ones I save on my phone.
The third graduation-related moment was, of course, receiving the diploma. In one single piece of paper was the embodiment of twelve years of hard work completed.
I’m bound to have more examples of paper and packaging on my mind with freshman-move in not too far away. I plan to ship a lot of his things in cardboard boxes to create Matthew’s new home away from home.